New cider taproom opening in Tacoma neighborhood known for excellent eats and drinks
When Cider + Cedar opens on Tacoma Avenue South, visitors might wonder: Is this a furniture gallery or a cider taproom?
The answer is an emphatic “both.”
The name appropriately combines the interests of Mia Daughenbaugh and Sterling Paradiso, partners in business and life and the team behind Cider + Cedar, which will be located in a terrific eating-and-sipping neighborhood, and within steps of Infinite Soups, Corina Bakery, Red Star Taco Bar and Dystopian State Brewing. It’s also a quick walk to Devil’s Reef, Over the Moon Cafe, Cuerno Bravo, The Mix, Puget Sound Pizza and Stink Cheese + Meat.
The 28-seat taproom, for diners older than 21 only, will carry a broad cider taplist. They’ll also sell bottled ciders for drinking on-site or takeout and serve cider-friendly nibbles. Cider + Cedar basically also will be the showroom gallery for Paradiso’s woodworking hobby.
They’re not cider makers, but they are cider enthusiasts. They’ll feature a range of ciders made by local and regional cider makers, from Port Townsend to Vashon Island to Central and Eastern Washington.
They hope visitors will think of them as a go-to destination for sampling and testing. “We’ll offer a flight board so that anybody can do flights, however many ciders they want to do,” said Paradiso. “We’ll do a broad spectrum going through main flavor profiles,” said Daughenbaugh.
“If you want to do a wide variety of them, you can try as much as you want. It’s sometimes too hard a decision to pick one, especially if you’re not familiar with it.”
She added, “We’re really excited to bring new ciders to Tacoma. We’d like to introduce people to ciders they haven’t seen before or haven’t had the opportunity to try, or you have to hop around to four different places in the region to try them all.”
Pardiso said he’s eager to reintroduce people to the beverage after they’ve already dismissed it. “So many people haven’t given cider a fair shot because their introduction was something sweet that tastes like soda,” he said.
They’ll focus on modern and heritage ciders with dry, off-dry, semi-dry and semi-sweet flavor profiles that will be served on 8 taps (they’ll reserve 2 taps for beer). They’ll also have a nice bottle selection – both refrigerated for immediate consumption and bottle stock for take-home sipping.
The duo want visitors to relate to cider and apples the same way wine fans connect with grapes. “If you think about cider, in some ways, it really is similar to wine. It’s a natural fermentation process that happens,” said Daughenbaugh.
“There’s a real connection to the land with cider that is similar to wine. … When you start to think about its place in the world, and the extreme variety of apples, and the different climates where it’s produced …. you think about that and realize, maybe we should be drinking a lot more cider.”
ABOUT THE OWNERS
Daughenbaugh is a transplant from Minneapolis and Paradiso is a Tacoma native. He’s also spent time living in Olympia, Florida, Lakewood and the Olympic Peninsula.
The couple lives in Tacoma now.
“We’re really excited to be in Tacoma and being more of a part of this community,” said Daughenbaugh. “One of the things we feel so fantastic about is Tacoma’s appreciation for the arts and that’s expressed in everything from the incredible murals to the arts tax (Tacoma Creates) that was recently passed.”
She added that they hope to be a companion to Tacoma’s evolving arts scene. “There’s a little bit of art to cider. There’s an art to woodworking, and a science as well. We’re excited about growing with Tacoma,” Daughenbaugh said.
WORKING WITH CEDAR: SHOWROOM PIECES
Paradiso’s previous time spent on the Olympic Peninsula led to friends gifting him a huge supply of old-growth cedar.
“Basically, I lived amongst all this old-growth cedar. When they logged this forest, they logged it in 1960. That was one of the last places they were clear cutting really old old trees,” explained Pardiso.
At the time of the clearcut 60 years ago, “They left everything on the ground that couldn’t be made into shakes and shingles. Most of (what was left) is weird and crooked, so all that was left on the ground. I wanted to make furniture out of it for a long time. There was so much of it. And looking at it, I thought, ‘We need to find a way to make art of this.’”
And that’s where his woodworking enters. Paradiso built the tables, the bar, the coffee tables and lamps at Cider + Cedar.
Scrolling through the taproom’s Instagram feed yields a glimpse of the cedar-centric taproom they’re creating. Pardiso’s woodworking methods respect the natural curves and bends of old-growth cedar, inspiring a fluidity to his creations. Layers of that cedar will climb from floor to ceiling.
If you plop your cider down on a cedar table you like. Guess what? You probably can buy it. “I’ll just make a new one,” said Paradiso with a laugh.
Paradiso has a massive supply of cedar and yearns to create new pieces.
“The physical build of the bar has been a huge process. It started with hauling it out of the woods,” said Daughenbaugh. The handmade bar is among the youngest cedar in the bar and Paradiso estimates the wood is probably around 350 years old and “certainly older than the United States.” Some of the wood in his pieces are salvaged cedar from stumps they estimate to be around 1,000 years old, maybe older.
CHARCUTERIE AND FRUIT ON THE MENU
The menu will be simple with a cider-friendly charcuterie board made with ingredients that shift with the season. They’re excited about offering fresh, seasonal heritage fruits on that charcuterie board.
They have a connection to Filaree Farms Fruits in North-Central Washington’s Okanagan area. “They have a unique orchard with history to the 1960s. They offer a diverse mix of fruit that we will offer fresh: peaches, nectarines, pears, apples, varieties you might not be familiar with. We’ll provide a lot of fresh fruit in our charcuterie boards,” said Paradiso.
If all goes well, they hope to open in June, but that’s flexible as Washington moves through the different phases of reopening businesses. Check their social media for opening updates.
CIDER + CEDAR
Where: 612 Tacoma Avenue S., Tacoma
Opening: Soon. Keep an eye on social media.
Note: Visitors must be 21 and older
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